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Cat’s Query

Her name was Catherine, but they called her Cat, which suited her personality well. She was the brand new Assistant Principal’s spunky five year-old daughter. It was only the second week of school and I’d already heard enough about her to wonder why her father’s hair wasn’t gray — and there she was in fromt of me, hanging upside down from the monkey bars. Her hair and arms dangled toward the ground, with her pink striped shirt rumpled at her armpits and ber belly hanging out.

I walked over and put one hand on her shoulder and one hand on her back to help support her. “Young lady, get down now!” She swung her hands to the bar, loosed her feet and casually dropped to the ground. Hands on her hips, blonde hair sticking out every which way, blue eyes shooting sparks she demanded, “Do you know who I am!?”

“Yes, ” I answered, “I do. And that doesn’t change the fact that rules are rules.”

“Oh,” she said. “Darn!” And then she grinned at me and skipped off to play.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. “Hanging upside-down from the monkey bars…” Great image, Q. I’ve heard of “Teacher’s Pet,” but “Principal’s Primate?” That’s something new, no?

  2. Too bad that there are many adults who don’t understand that “doesn’t change the fact that rules are rules.” She needed to know who was going to be intimidated and (in your case) more importantly… WHO WASN’T! ~ jb///

  3. Al — that woul dhave been a great title for this post!

    Donna — if I let the 5 year olds push me around, I’d never make it against the ten year olds!

    Nessa — she was pretty savvy for a wee one.

    LZ — yep, the staff — including her father — were all in agreement with that.

    OC — she is actually 12 now. And in an excellerated program. That fast track kid will probably be out of high school at 15.

  4. Rules aren’t always rules. It depends on the proper people being willimng to enforce them. It sounds like she ran into enough of those people to get her tracking right.

  5. Bill — worse even, she’s developed diplomacy skills that are down right frightening.

    Brian — was that you or Dewey?

    Dr. John –as far as 12 year olds go, she is a very good kid.

    MsB — yeah, you would appreciate her!

    Charlie — I should thank you for stopping by my garden so often since you dislike cats so. Oh, and glad to see you defrosted.

    Silver — well, it’s okay that she didn’t get it because she hasn’t really given up. Never under-estimate this Cat!

  6. Can’t dis a girl for trying. She sounds charming and bright. I was always hanging upside down on monkey bars, and doing shooting stars, when did that become against the rules? I thought that’s what monkey bars are for?

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